Parenting ROI

What is the return on your parenting investment?

I was sitting at the drum set on Sunday in church. I had been playing along with our guest preacher and singer for our homecoming service. I have played drums for about 27 years. Drums were my instrument of choice after I took a few piano lessons and did not like it at all. I remember a period of time where my parents waited patiently for me to decide what I wanted to play, making good and sure that I decided on one that I could stick with. 27 years later on a Sunday, reflecting between songs, with my parents in the congregation, I decided they got a pretty good return on the investment they made in me as a child.

In business, ROI stands for “return on investment,” or the value received out of money and time spent on a certain activity or commodity. Sometimes parenting ROI might be considered in dollars and cents. For example-

  • My parents’ focus on education helped me land a scholarship that got me through my first 2 years of college.
  • My parents’ heart for ministry and community service led to me getting into the field of social work, which is how I make my living.
  • Most of your Parenting ROI is in terms that cannot be so easily measured…

  • My mom insisting that I compete in public speaking contests form the time I was in 6th grade helped bring this backward kid out of his shell and gave me tremendous confidence.
  • My parents’ dedication to the church and to people in need paved my way into ministry.
  • My dad insisting that i work hard and my mom pushing me to do my best at everything I do created a tremendous work ethic that I carry to this day.
  • Their teaching, prayers, and often difficult words of correction has instilled in me a strong faith in Jesus Christ.
  • I’m thankful for my parents, Garey and Debbie, who invested selflessly in me, and whom I credit for my desire to invest in my boys. Sure, kids will try things that don’t seem to carry any value beyond the next week, but if you keep investing in your children you will find something, like my drumming, that will provide true value to them throughout life. Then, as they say, the beat will go on…

    Is it just me, or have you ever thought about your parenting ROI? Have your parents or early caregivers invested time and effort into you that has added value to your life over the years?


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